Saturday, June 16, 2007

An apology from the bishops of Massachusetts

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

You have been duped. We especially address those of you with homosexual tendencies. You, and your so-called "supporters," have been duped.

Not by the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Not even by the Supreme Judicial Court of this state which believes it legalized "marriage" between members of the same sex.

No, you have been duped by those of us who should have known better.

For example, you have been duped by those who supposedly are your pastors.

Time and time again, we have addressed the issue of your "right" to call you and your "partners" "married people" in the wrong way. Actually, in several wrong ways.

First, we kept harping on the threatening of the "sanctity of marriage."

This was simply bull-twanky, if you'll forgive us for using such language. As, indeed, Sunday's First Reading exemplifies, the so-called "sanctity of marriage" has been attacked for eons.

Take King David, for example.

King David wasn't a homosexual, but by giving in to his lust for Bathsheba (and, not incidentally, arranging to cover up his crime by having her husband killed) wasn't exactly what we'd call a defender of the institution of marriage. And yet, he, through his destruction of the marriage of Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, fostered a son who is part of the human lineage of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Let's talk about divorce.

It is a myth, of course, that half of American marriages end in divorce. On the other hand, marriage itself is on the decline. Men and women—heterosexual men and women—seem to prefer to co-habitate without benefit of marriage.

In other words, no one can sensibly blame the decline of real marriage on you folks. The heterosexual population has done a masterful job itself on arranging this decline without any help from you.

And about the "people's right to vote" thing...

Heaven forbid! Other states may be different—and we pray they are—but the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently elected a man of whom nothing was or is known...on the basis of a banal slogan: "Together, we can."


It could be said that our options were limited. Opposing our current governor was a lady who—like our current governor—supports the "right" to destroy the lives of children in the womb.

Nice state we've got here, don't we?

But, again, does the blame belong to the Governor, or his opponent, or the legislature, or the Supreme Judicial Court?

We don't think so. We believe the blame lies at our feet.

Because we didn't tell you something you really need to know:

Homosexual acts are wrong. They are sinful. They will cost you, big time.

Because we didn't tell you this—oh, sure, we might have said it in other situations but not in this debate—we duped you.

Because of our misguidance, we handed Satan a powerful weapon. Because we stubbornly focused on the "sanctity of marriage" and worse, the "right of the people to vote," we gave the Devil the opportunity to say—and with evident sincerity—"why should the people decide on what is moral?"

Boy, did we screw up. And the Devil must be laughing his guts out.

And so, my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us, even at this late date, turn to the truth.

You who believe that your homosexual activity is somehow natural and good? You are wrong. It is not good. It is evil. (And you pretty much know this, don't you?)

You who dare to align yourselves with those Americans who were once slaves in this nation are acting in a way that is beyond contempt.

And you pastors of said former slaves who actually bought into this myth...may God have mercy on your souls.

And on ours.

Because by hiding behind the "sanctity of marriage" and the "right of the people to vote" we have neatly eluded the real issue.

Sin. It's ugly. It condemns you and it condemns us.

We should have told you before.

In the most Merciful Christ,

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, Boston
Bishop George W. Coleman, Fall River
Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, Springfield
Bishop Robert J. McManus, Worcester

N.B. I made this up. I hated doing it but felt it necessary. The Bishops' real statement can be found here.